21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Galatians 2:21 (NIV)
This is a powerful verse from the Bible. It basically separates true Christianity from the religious counterfeits. Let us begin with the background. The book of Galatians has recorded the harshest words from Paul. Paul was extremely angry with them. At that time, the church in Galatia was not the only one with the problem of sin. The other one in the Bible was the Corinthians. Yet, Paul’s words in the book of Corinthians were not that harsh. What was the difference between them?
The Corinthians committed outward sins. They committed adultery, they were arrogant and very political. These are sins but not as serious as those committed by the Galatians. The sins of the Galatians were inward. The Galatians committed the sin of being religious. Paul must have considered the sin of being religious to be the worst sin for him to use such drastic words. What exactly happened to the Galatians?
Somewhere along the timeline, they were infiltrated by the theologians. Those theologians had introduced religion into the church. They told the church that believing in Jesus alone is not enough. They must obey the Moses Law like circumcision and the 10 Commandments. As a result, the entire church fell into bondage. Their joy was gone. Their relationship with God was no longer based on love but on their obedience to the Law. Their church service must be on how to obey the Law instead of God’s love.
Does this sound familiar to you today? There are many churches today that operate the same way. They will tell you that being a Christian is not just about believing in Jesus. You must also obey the 10 Commandments. Not obeying the 10 Commandments is a sin and that makes you not right with God. This implies that obeying the Commandments will make you right with God.
Yet the above verse says the opposite. According to the above verse, if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! The message is, righteousness can not be gained through the Law. The Law can never make you right with God. Not only that, if you attempt to obey the Law as if it can make you right with God, you are making a statement saying that Jesus died for nothing. This is why religious churches are an insult to what Jesus had done at the Cross.
The first part of the verse says Paul did not set aside the grace of God. This means that obeying the Law is setting aside the grace of God. It is the rejection of God. No wonder Paul was so angry. While the Corinthians had committed many outward sins, they still believed in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In contrast, while the Galatians were relatively free from outward sins, they had committed the sin of rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the obedience to the Law. Their obedience to the Law was the equivalent of setting aside the grace of God and accusing Jesus for dying for nothing. Such is the worst sin to be committed by Christians and at the same time propagated by many religious churches.
In conclusion, the worst possible sin that can be committed by a Christian is to obey the Law Of Moses. Each time Satan tempted you to obey the Law, ask yourself the following questions:
• Who died for your sins, Jesus or the Law?
• Who died poor for you to live rich, Jesus or the Law?
• Who took away all your diseases at the Cross, Jesus or the Law?
• Who delivers you from all your troubles, Jesus or the Law?
• Who comforts you when you are in distress, Jesus or the Law?
• Who made you right before God, Jesus or the Law?
The answer to the above question is the focus to your life.